2018 Watts Bar Come Around After Action Reprort
Tuesday afternoon, October 23 found our crew of about 40 people gathered around the pavilion for the start of the traditional Watts Bar Fall come-around with a fish fry, potato salad, coleslaw, and ice cream dinner provided by firsties Jim and Lynne Connors, 74. Also attending were (add from attendee list). After dinner, the group moved to a roaring campfire for a sing-along, then a very moving flag retirement ceremony in which 15 worn out flags were burned over the campfire with solemn reverence and patriot music. There were not a lot of dry eyes in the crowd for that ceremony.
The next morning our intrepid campers were greeting with a hearty breakfast supplied by Jim and Marie Roberts and volunteers. After that we had a chapter business meeting with the big picture provided by the USNAAA Regional Trustee, Rich Cataldi. Then we moved into the always popular White Elephant auction. This year our junk yielded a total of $520 for the chapter treasury. After a quick break for lunch, about half the group debarked for 2 different hikes while the remainder enjoyed the local amusements. That night we were treated to a wonderful and tasty pot luck dinner, again proving that our group isn’t handicapped by the use of RV kitchens. That night we again gathered around the campfire for s’mores, jokes, and sea stories.
Thursday, we enjoyed a tour of the Tsali Notch Vineyards and a wine tasting, followed by margaritas from Tom Wolfe’s Margaritaville machine. Dinner was again provided by the firsties with a special delivery of 14 large pizzas and more ice cream. We rejoined the campfire but were cut off early by rains. These same rains continued into Friday causing the planned boat rides and classic car show to be canceled. But instead the firstie moved the Sat night cookout to Friday night, and we were treated to chili cheese dogs and brats with nuclear stew and more ice cream. The rains stopped in time for another campfire with lots of requests for s’mores since we’d missed them on Thursday night.
Saturday was a day to see the local sites, and folks visited Mayfield Diary, Sweetwater Cheese Factory, flea markets, and other local shops and restaurants. But before dark, everyone carpooled to the home of Jim and Lynne for the grand finale, a 90 minute fireworks show. The “ooohs” and “aahhs” were non stop as we lit up the sky to the delight of our shipmates and spouses.
Sunday, most of the campers left for homeport, with a few joining Jim and Lynne around the campfire one last time. Once again, it seemed like the major theme running thru this come-around was food…. lots of it and as often as possible. No one went hungry, and hopefully no one had to do a lot of cooking other than the firsties. Stay tuned for more information on Watts Bar 2020. We are working with the site managers to try to find a week in late September that would still allow us to be in one area and give us use of the pavilion.
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